Consumers may be willing cut down on expenses like buying lunch, but broadband continues to be one thing they don't mind shelling out money for each month.
A new Leichtman Research Group study revealed that 19 of the largest telcos and cable operators collectively added 3.4 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in 2010.
But one thing that was clear with LRG's new report is that in the U.S. broadband subscriber race, cable took the lead in 2010. Cable operators added 2.3 million broadband subscribers in 2010 versus the telcos 1.1 million.
What's likely attracting more consumers to cable are two factors: triple play packages and higher speeds delivered over their existing HFC plant. Large cable MSOs such as Comcast and Cox currently offer 50 Mbps and even 100 Mbps service tiers. Outside of Verizon FiOS with its 150 Mbps/35 Mbps tier, most traditional telcos' DSL tiers range from as low as 784 Kbps to 25 Mbps on the high end.
And while the U.S. broadband market is well saturated, it's still growing. "Despite an increasingly high level of broadband penetration, the top broadband providers still added 83 percent as many subscribers in 2010 as in 2009," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.
- see the release
Assessing the top 10 wireline service providers in Q4 2010
LRG Study: Cable not hurting when it comes to broadband subscribers
Cable comes up a winner even while losing, thanks to broadband